The Two Ages In The Bible

The bible teaches of two ages: “this age” and “age to come“. I think it is important for every Christians to understand the two ages because the understanding will give us the knowledge about eschatology. Eschatology is the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of human kind. If we do not understand the two ages, we will never understand what the “last days” referred to in the bible including the judgement day.

The Two Ages

Matthew 12:32 (NKJV) – “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

Ephesians 1:21 (NKJV) – far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

So clearly there are two ages. We need to understand what are these two ages but first, there are some bible verses translated the original Greek word “Aion” to English word “world“. King James Version (KJV) used this in

Matthew 13:40 (KJV) – As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

This has been corrected in the New King James Version (NKJV) because the Greek word “Aion” is more correct to translate as “age“.

Matthew 13:40 (NKJV) “Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.

Jesus was talking about the end of the “this age“. We can confirm this again in

Matthew 13:49-50 (NKJV) – 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50 and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Hold on your thought about Matthew 13:50, notice the “wicked” will be separated and cast them into furnace of fire. So far nothing mentioned about those who will be saved so just keep that in mind.

This Age

What do we know about the “this age“? We can get the clue from this verse

1 Corinthians 2:6-8 (NKJV) – 6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Clearly in this verse, the rulers at the time of Jesus Christ belongs to “this age“. Apostle Paul said “we” [him and the audience, the Corinthians believers] speak the wisdom of God in a mystery that the rulers in time of Christ did not know, otherwise they would not have crucified him.

The “this age” is about to end in the time of the first century believers. We can read this in

1 Corinthians 10:11 (NKJV) – 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

The word “ends” means the end of the ages is coming, it is near. Jesus came at the end of the ages.

Hebrews 9:26 (NKJV) He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Now I don’t know why it says “ages” but if this is the “end of the world” it will render the verse false because Christ came to scarifies himself during the first century. Therefore Hebrew 9:26 is referring to the “this age“.

The “ends of the ages” is what Jesus was referring to as the “last days” so I think the “ages” can be translated as “days“.

Hebrews 1:1-2 (NKJV) – 1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

The used of plural “these” indicates the “last days” is already present in their [the Hebrews] time. The “last days” also referred to as “last times“.

1 Peter 1:20 (NKJV) – He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

At this point we should have known that “this age” is about to end. About to end in the time of Jesus, the Apostles and the first century believers. What is about to come to first century people does not mean 2000 years later, it is still about to come in our time.

Characteristics of “This Age”

The evil age

Can you accept our age is the age of evil?

Galatians 1:3-4 (NKJV) – 3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

The age of darkness

Can you accept our age is the age of darkness?

Colossians 1:12-13 (NKJV) – 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,

Now Colossians 1:12-13 does not mention “age” but Apostle Paul said “He has delivered us from the power of darkness“. That was their situation before. So this is giving as a clue that Colossians are living in the “age to come” but actually not. They are living in the “last days” or “ends of the ages“. That means they are in the transition period. What is it mean by “who qualified as to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light“? Jesus is the light and Apostle Paul is talking about the inheritance of the righteousness in Jesus.

John 8:12 (NKJV) Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John also gave as a clue that the age of darkness is passing away. It means it is about to end.

1 John 2:8 (NKJV) Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

The age in which Satan ruled

The time of the Jews is the time of darkness of which the ruler are considered to be Satan.

Acts 26:18 (NKJV) ‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

Notice it says “sanctified by faith” not “sanctified by faith and works”. Now if the “this age” which refers to the first century people is ruled by Satan, God is about to crush Satan shortly according to the book of Romans

Romans 16:20 (NKJV) And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

The word “shortly” is an important keyword here to remember. It means soon, soon to the first century people. It does not mean it is also soon to us 2000 years later.

[Related topics: The End Of The Age: The Completion Of All Prophesies]

The age of blinded people

In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, the people of “this age” are blinded. Why because the gospel has been veiled [concealed] to them. Now if we do not live in “this age“, the gospel was only concealed to those who are perishing in “this age” contrary to other religions who teach the bible is kept in mystery to all people except to the so called “messenger“.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NKJV) – 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

[Related topic: The Mystery Of the Gospel Has Been Revealed]

The ministry of death and condemnation

Another clue the the “this age” is passing away is written in 2 Corinthians 3:7-11. These verse describes “this age” is a ministry of death and a ministry of condemnation.

2 Corinthians 3:7-11 (NKJV) – 7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

“This age” is called night

Apostle Paul told the Romans, its high time to awake out of sleep, the night is far spent, cast off the works of darkness.

Romans 13:11-12 (NKJV) – 11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

What is interesting in this verse is that it is in harmony of the darkness passing away because the day is at hand. Apostle Paul said “our salvation” meaning their salvation is nearer. If Apostle Paul is telling this to the Romans it is near, how then preacher of our time still telling us salvation is near? Did Apostle Paul then lied to the Romans to make them believe it is near?  2000 years later salvation is again near to us? My point is when Apostle Paul said it is nearer, he meant what he said. It was near in their time. If that is the case, their salvation may have been attain in their time, not in our future judgement day as we know it.

The end of “this age”

Matthew explained the tares are gathered in the fire at the end of “this age”.

Matthew 13:40 (NKJV) “Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.

This sounds like the judgement day but if you followed me, you would have understood “this age” is the present age in the time of Jesus, the old covenant age.

So every verse lead us to a “judgement day” for “this age“. But we should have understood by this time “this age” is not the planet earth. “this age” is referring to the old covenant, the time of the Israelites. Using this knowledge of “this age” and the historical account of the destruction of Jerusalem Temple in 70 A.D., everything now make sense the passing away of “this age” is referring to the judgement to the Jews which happens in 70 AD.

We can therefore conclude now the “this age” is the present age of the bible, the first century people. By historical evidences, it ended in 70 AD when Jerusalem was destroyed by Roman armies.

The Age To Come

Why is “this age” is passing away in time of the first century Christians? Because the new age is coming, the new covenant

Hebrews 8:13 (NKJV) – In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

In contrast to “this age” the “age to come“, the new age is the ministry of righteousness (2 Corinthians 3:7-11), it is called a “day” and “light” (Romans 13:11-12),

The new covenant is everlasting

Hebrews 13:20 (NKJV) – 20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Is this the everlasting life after the judgement day in future time? Christ shed His blood represents the new covenant

Matthew 26:28 (NKJV) – 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Mark 14:24 (NKJV) – And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.

1 Corinthians 11:25 (NKJV) – In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

Apostle Paul is a ministry of new covenant

2 Corinthians 3:6 (NKJV) – who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Everlasting Covenant

The new covenant is everlasting. Why then people think the world is going to be destroyed come judgement day? Is the judgement day actually referring to the end of this planet earth, which is future in our time? Or is it actually the judgement to the “this age” people? I will reserve my answer for future articles but you can expect the judgment is actually in our past not in our future. For now our focus is that the new age is everlasting.

Hebrews 13:20 (NKJV) – 20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

God destroyed the earth once by water in time of Noah, the planet earth survived but why people don’t even trust God when he said he will not do it again in Genesis,

Genesis 8:21-22 (NKJV) – And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. 22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”

God said he will do destroy the earth again.

Psalms 148:4-6 (NKJV) Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, And you waters above the heavens! 5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created. 6 He also established them forever and ever; He made a decree which shall not pass away.

I believe the decree that God made is not to destroy the earth again that is why His creations is forever and ever.

Psalms 78:69 (NKJV) – And He built His sanctuary like the heights, Like the earth which He has established forever.

Ecclesiastes 1:4 (NKJV) – One generation passes away, and another generation comes; But the earth abides forever.

I hope this knowledge of the scriptures is profitable to you as it is to me.